Shimon Peres and the Zionist Nightmare

166Amos Kenan at The Nation (originally published in 1982):

The Russians once invented a translating machine. To test it they inserted the English phrase, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” The result, in Russian, came out, “The vodka is good, but the meat is rotten.”

Shimon Peres is this kind of distorted reproduction, just as his Labor Party is a distorted reproduction.

Shimon Peres is an apparatchik—of an apparat that does not function anymore because its motor is dead. The motor was once fueled by the original spirit of Zionism, in its socialist version, a dream of two generations of humble prophets and naive visionaries: Zionism not just as another national liberation movement but as an experience in humanity, not only to create a new Jew in a new homeland but to create a new specimen of humankind. That dream has been turned into a nightmare by the experience of statehood and the needs of Realpolitik, and it is the Israeli Labor Party that is responsible. It is the Labor Party that is to blame for the face that Israel is now wearing, the face of Menachem Begin and Arid Sharon, of military oppression and moral decline.

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